Taxpayers asked to cover part of Suffolk library renovation

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DIX HILLS -

Taxpayers are being asked to pick up some of the tab for renovations to a Suffolk County library.

Staff members at Half Hollow Hills Community Library say their building is in need of repairs that will require a major overhaul.

"This building was built 50 years ago this month and one of the issues you have in a building 50 years old is there's no fire sprinkler system," says library director Helen Crosson. "Our lower level floods when it rains...We don't have enough meeting rooms."

The proposal is slated to cost more than $19 million, with most of it coming from taxpayers. If it passes, taxpayers in the Half Hollow Hills School District will see their bill go up as much as $60 a year.

Residents who spoke with News 12 appeared to be split over whether they'd be comfortable shelling out extra cash for the renovation.

"If it's for the betterment of the library then why not?" said Qasif Reedwan, of Dix Hills.

"Taxes are very high here as it is," says Dix Hills' Jennifer Block. "So I'd have to give some thought to it."

Dix Hills resident Diane Lettiri started a GoFundMe page to help get voters to the polls and say "yes" to the bond proposal. She says the tax increase is worth it.

"The taxes are not going to be astronomical, it's not going to be a lot of money," Lettiri says. "It's something that we really need."

The library will host five public meetings on the building project.

Voters will head to the polls to decide on the bond Oct. 3.

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